Thursday, May 8, 2014

i'm perfectly aware of what i'm yet to know

hello, and welcome to another edition of sarah blogs instead of doing work. *theme song plays* *fake studio audience claps* today we find our main character very much not working on writing the first chapter of her dissertation despite having said that she was definitely for sure one hundred percent going to spend her office hours researching and writing because she completely failed at doing that on wednesday when she was also definitely for sure one hundred percent going to get that first chapter done. she is seated in one of the comfy maroon chairs in the third floor student lounge of the engineering building, singing the vaccines "under my thumb" in her head. her legs are crossed one over the other and james, her laptop, is resting on her thigh. her hoodie is just two shades darker than the chairs, and she has the sleeves rolled up in an effort to fool her head into thinking that it is time to get down to business. she refreshes tumblr for the fifteenth time in three minutes and sighs when nothing new pops up on her dash. she switches to the browser window that has the tabs of research related work open (using a different window was her way of making sure she actually got work done) and her eyes immediately glaze over. she goes back to tumblr. refreshes the page. resists the urge to fall to her knees, throw her hands in the air, and scream "give me something to reblog!" to the heavens. she goes to check her email - again - and sees the blogger tab. her eyes light up. yes, she thinks, the perfect distraction. she clicks the "new post" button, takes a deep breath, and begins to write. cue voiceover.

so the other day i had the meeting with my adviser that i had been putting off for longer than i'm willing to admit because i didn't want to have to say, "i know it's been basically an entire semester since i last saw you, but nope. haven't done anything in that time. not a thing. what was my project going to be about again?" the thing about meeting with my adviser, though, is that i walk into the meeting panicked, lost, and ashamed and i walk out of the meeting confident, hopeful, and ready to work. he's magic. you cannot convince me otherwise. (because i cannot resist being a complete embarrassment, i told him during the meeting that his office is my happy place. i am surprised i have not been arrested for creepiness yet. if i suddenly disappear, that is why. well, that or laziness. one of the two.)

anyway, in the midst of suggesting great suggestions about methodology and committee members and the like, he said, "this part of the phd process is where you are designing the class. in the next part, you actually take the class." and i had a perfect moment of clarity. the skies parted, and a ray of light shined down on his office bathing us in a heavenly glow, and that "aaahhhhhh" angelic music filled the background. because of course i'm supposed to be designing my own class right now. i mean, duh. some part of me knew that, i swear, but it hadn't registered. see, up until that point, i had felt like i was taking a class that i didn't know the rules to. i showed up every week to an empty classroom because there was a room change and i didn't get the memo. i had never gotten the syllabus, either, and there were assignments i was supposed to be turning in i just knew it, but i didn't know what they were. or how to find out what they were. and i probably wouldn't know how to do them anyway.

but now i can take a deep breath and figure this out. a new perspective was all i needed. i mean, at least until this adviser-high wears off and i realize that a new perspective does not change the fact that i have no idea where i am going or how to get there and that i probably should have gotten off this education train one or two stops ago.

voiceover stops as our main character looks up to stare out the window, contemplating her feelings on this whole post-grad thing she got herself into. the ding of the elevator can be heard and a babble of voices draw our character's attention until they fade down the hall in the opposite direction. her stomach grumbles loudly. she looks around the now empty lounge, glad that no one is left to hear. she's starving. she glances at the clock on her laptop. just over one hour left. she takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. she can do this. she opens the tumblr tab and hits f5.

*Under Your Thumb - The Vaccines 

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